Friday, October 09, 2009

Tenzin in Japan: part 1

After all these years coming to Japan, at long last I've managed to get my old friend, amazing Tibetan singer Tenzin Choegyal over here, and it was exactly the success I thought it would be! We had 8 shows in the 12 days he was here. They weren't all big, but for a first visit definitely successful. He made a huge impression and everyone wants him to come back again.

I'll be posting a selection of photos here but you can see a whole lot more on our Facebook album, "Tenzin in Japan".

Fri Sep 25: Kie, Nishi-Azabu: A small opening concert, more of a paid rehearsal really. The owner of the bar has won awards for her paintings of McLeod Ganj (home of the Tibetan government-in-exile) and Varanasi.

Taro, Tenzin and Shen get warmed up in Kie, Nishi-Azabu

Tenzin playing sanshin (the Okinawan equivalent of his usual instrument, the dranyen), with some girls we came across in Yoyogi Park.

Sat Sep 26: Cafe Slow, Kokubunji: A beautiful candle-lit, acoustic (no electricity was the concept) show in a slow-food organic cafe in Tokyo's west. Tenzin, Taro and I really clicked from here on. Unfortunately due to the dark, there's no photos.... Thanks to Dolma Tsering, Tenzin's long-lost cousin, for being the interpreter.

Sun Sep 27: Namaste India Festival, Yoyogi Park, with special guest Kathak dancer Atsuko Maeda: Wow. We started the show with about 1000 people waiting to hear us play, but with 's voice filling the park, by the second song we reckon there were about 3000 people clustered around the stage. Tibetan flags flying everywhere. Atsuko's beautiful dance complementing our happy festive sounds. Kya baat hai!

Tenzin dancing with the Ainu people (indigenous people of Japan)

Shen, Taro, Tenzin and Atsuko win everybody's hearts at Namaste India. Atsuko added some Kathak interludes to Tibet2Timbuk2 song "Tso Marpo", and some interpretive dance on "Daway Wola"

Sun Sep 27: Magokoro, Kamakura: After allowing 15 minutes to sell some CDs at Namaste India, we had to rush off to beachside town Kamakura, southwest of Tokyo, for this intimate acoustic gig at Magokoro ("Hemp Heart"). Many thanks to Yuki for arranging this concert.

Shen, Tenzin and Taro at Magokoro

Tenzin and Taro's flute duet become a highlight of every concert, leading in to the emotional Tibet2Timbuk2 song "Lotus Born". These songs kept getting better and better.

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